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Trimethoprim – Side Effects, Uses, Advantages


Trimethoprim Uses

Trimethoprim, which is classified as a folic acid inhibitor, is a medication that is classified under antibiotics and it belongs to the chemotherapeutic drugs also known as dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors. It is used in the treatment of specific infections brought about by bacterial invasion. It aids in stopping the bacterial growth. In addition to that, it is a suggested antibiotic for the treatment of urinary tract infections as well as chest infections. Aside from the ones that were mentioned, Trimethoprim can be also used for the treatment of:

  • Shigellosis
  • Ear infection
  • Traveler’s diarrhea
  • Acute chronic bronchitis
  • Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Meliodosis
  • Whipple’s disease
  • Escherichia coli strains

Trimethoprim Advantages

The Trimethoprim has many advantages such as:

  • Penetrates into infected tissues and exudates than other antibiotics can do which also means that they can penetrate into one’s eye, blood brain barrier, prostate gland and treat infections in these areas made mentioned.
  • Minimal effect on the normal flora which means it has lesser potential for diarrhea induction and less resistant bacteria.
  • Considered to be an excellent activity for it is a broad spectrum kind of antibiotic which is a good choice for a general antibiotic wherein the identity of the infecting microorganism is unknown.
  • Prevents bacterial folic acid synthesis which is necessary for its growth

Trimethoprim Side Effects

The following are the side effects that are associated when one uses Trimethoprim:

Blood dyscrasias

One of the Trimethoprim side effects includes blood dyscrasias. These are actually abnormal proportion of the person’s blood cells which leads to the tendency to bleed, dysfunction in the immune system and other problems that deals with blood cells. This kind of side effect is part of the inflammation of the joint syndrome which will then be discussed as we go along.


Hepatitis is one of the Trimethoprim side effects. Persons who are sensitive can be at high risk for the failure of his or her liver which may be manifested with jaundice, nausea and the like. Persons who are taking in Trimethoprim are at high risk to have such side effect that the only treatment is to halt taking of it, as much as possible.

Hemolytic anemia

This deals with the destruction of one’s red blood cells that are mediated by the immune system and initiated via the reaction of medication. Hence, persons who have a medical history of hemolytic anemia, one of the Trimethoprim side effects, are suggested to not take Trimethoprim to avoid further condition.

Bladder stones

This kind of side effect occurs rarely. Some who takes in routinely the Trimethoprim medication may have a high risk of having stones in his or her bladder.

Inflammation syndrome

Sensitive persons to Trimethoprim have been reported to encounter inflammatory syndrome, one of the Trimethoprim side effects, which affects the person’s joint. The inflammation includes soreness of the muscles, inflamed kidney or eye, fever, and even arthritis. This side effect is usually felt or seen in between eight to twenty days after the start of the pharmacological therapy.

Rashes in the skin

This is a normal side effect which results to the response of the body towards Trimethoprim especially during the initial treatment therapy. However, it may become worst when not given the proper attention. Cessation of Trimethoprim can provide the solution.

Dry eye syndrome

Dry eye, which is part of the Trimethoprim side effects, can occur when there is an inability of the production of the adequate tears. Trimethoprim actually can disrupt the tear function and occurs either one dose of the medication or during the span of therapy, usually during long term therapy.

Danger in pregnancy

The Trimethoprim should not be taken by the pregnant woman because it crosses the placenta and affects the development of the unborn child. In addition to that, because Trimethoprim is a folic acid inhibitor it may lead to the baby to be at risk for the development of the neural tube defect.

Allergic reaction

This will happen to persons who are known to be allergic, one of the Trimethoprim side effects, to the drug or its composition. The symptoms associated with this reaction will manifest fever, chills, anaphylaxis, photosensitivity, pruritus or itching sensation, rashes, tightening of the chest, difficulty breathing, swelling of the neck, tongue or face and the like.

Electrolyte imbalance

Trimethoprim side effects include electrolyte imbalance. Another important side effect that one should know is that the Trimethoprim causes the decrease of sodium levels and the increase in potassium level which are both not a good indication and can alter the health of the individual taking in Trimethoprim.

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